Clinton man charged with arson

Charlene Bielema
Herald Editor

CLINTON ó One of two fires that broke out this morning in Clinton has been ruled an arson.

A press release issued at 9:30 a.m. today states Rodrigo Lindemann, 23, has been charged with first-degree arson in connection with an apartment fire at 416 Seventh Ave. South. Lindemann, a resident of the building, is being held in the Clinton County Jail, court records indicate. Bond is set at $50,000 cash or surety. The charge is a Class B felony, with a 25-year sentence upon conviction.

The fire broke out at 2:42 a.m. today, just 12 minutes after Clinton firefighters were called to a blaze at 2019 Pershing Blvd. Firefighters were dispatched at 2:30 a.m. to the first blaze.

On Pershing, firefighters arrived to see smoke coming from the eaves and noted that all occupants had exited. CFD Company No. 5 made entry through the front door and discovered heavy smoke and heat. The seat of the fire was located at the rear of the house and was knocked down in about 10 minutes. The Pershing fire was extinguished in about an hour with crews remaining on scene for 21/2 hours. No injuries were reported. Damage to the structure is estimated at $40,000 with $10,000 damage to the contents.

The structure was insured.

Because of the extent of that response, mutual aid was needed for the Seventh Avenue South Fire. The Fulton, Ill., Fire Department responded with an engine, rescue unit, ambulance and 14 firefighters. The Camanche Fire Department responded with an engine and five firefighters. Also, four off-duty Clinton firefighters were called in. The Clinton Police Department also responded.

Upon arrival, crews found a fire in the downstairs hallway with smoke in the upper two apartments. The fire was quickly extinguished and a search of the apartment building found no residents inside. Fire crews were on the scene for more than three hours.

Fulton ambulance transported two people to Mercy North Hospital. Their names were not released and their conditions are unknown at this time.

The building, which is insured, is owned by Deborah Kruckenberg. However, it is unknown if the tenants had renterís insurance.

The cause of the Pershing fire is under investigation.